Baku GP: Nakamura, Svidler Winners in Round 2

Baku GP: Nakamura, Svidler Winners in Round 2

| 12 | Chess Event Coverage

On the second day at the Grand Prix in Baku, Azerbaijan there were also two winners: Hikaru Nakamura and Peter Svidler.

In a Dutch Leningrad, Nakamura outplayed Dmitry Andreikin of Russia, who also lost yesterday. Svidler defeated Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in a Queen's Gambit Declined.

The FIDE Grand Prix has always suffered a bit from an identity crisis. The first series was marred by the withdrawal of both host cities and players, and then there was the continuous confusion with the (now defunct) Grand Slam. Simply put: chess fans didn't know what it was about, and therefore didn't care too much.

It's a pity, since these tournaments are of the highest caliber, and therefore some good games each round are almost guaranteed. (Besides, the revived Agon company is putting some effort in making everything look better too. Great!)

The four draws were all very interesting, but let's start with the decisive games. The first winner of the day was Peter Svidler, who defeated local hero Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Commentator GM Emil Sutovsky called it a "convincing victory," but Svidler said: “Not really, I spoilt it quite badly. (...) Shakhriyar just missed Bd6.”

Svidler and Mamedyarov at the press conference. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE.

Yesterday, Hikaru Nakamura said that he was mostly trying to play “a good game,” and it looks like he succeeded the very next round. It must be said that Dmitry Andreikin did not play a good game, but still, the American's choice of the Dutch, a sign of fighting spirit, worked out well and Nakamura simply played a lot of good moves.

That was a good game by Nakamura, wasn't it? | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE.

What about Fabiano Caruana? Well, the gap with Magnus Carlsen in the live ratings is slightly bigger again after the new world number two drew with Boris Gelfand.

At 46, the Israeli GM is clearly the oldest participant, but so far age doesn't seem to play a role at all. In mutual time trouble, both players missed some tactics, but all in all it was a good game.

A handshake between Caruana and Gelfand at the start of the round. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE.

“A hard-fought game that ended in a deserved draw” is how Rustam Kasimdzhanov summarized his battle with Teimour Radjabov.

In a Berlin Ending, the Uzbek GM found an absolutely great move which, however, wasn't as strong as he thought, as he said afterward. Still, you might want to try and see if you can find it:

What did White play?

After the move (see below in the game), a tactical sequence resulted in a rook ending with an edge for White, but Radjabov held it.

Radjabov and Kasimdzhanov speaking after the game. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE.

For the second day in a row, Sergey Karjakin got into time trouble, but this time it was only as a result of lots of calculating at the board. A complicated Queen's Indian became quite sharp when White started an attack around move 30. Also in time trouble, Grischuk missed a win on at least two occasions and so the game ended in a draw.

Grischuk showing Karjakin a funny variation. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE.

The longest game, Leinier Dominguez vs Evgeny Tomashevsky, went on for more than seven hours. At the press conference the Russian GM complimented his opponent: “He showed a lot of fighting spirit. He found new resources one time by another.”

And indeed, even with just one queen and rook and three pawns for both sides, Dominguez continued setting problems and in fact did reach a winning position but then he was too tired to find the winning idea.

Dominguez vs Tomashevsky, a verrry long game. | Photo © Maria Emelianova courtesy of FIDE.

2014 Grand Prix, Baku | Round 2 Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 Pts SB
1 Caruana,F 2844 2948 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1.5/2 1.25
2 Svidler,P 2732 2954 phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1 1.5/2 1.25
3 Nakamura,H 2764 2917 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 1.5/2 0.75
4 Gelfand,B 2748 2973 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 1 1.5/2 0.75
5 Dominguez,L 2751 2704 phpfCo1l0.png ½ ½ 1.0/2 1.00
6 Kasimdzhanov,R 2706 2738 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.0/2 1.00
7 Tomashevsky,E 2701 2774 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.0/2 1.00
8 Grischuk,A 2797 2734 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.0/2 0.75
9 Radjabov,T 2726 2735 ½ phpfCo1l0.png ½ 1.0/2 0.75
10 Karjakin,S 2767 2630 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0.5/2 0.50
11 Mamedyarov,S 2764 2539 0 ½ phpfCo1l0.png 0.5/2 0.50
12 Andreikin,D 2722 1956 0 0 phpfCo1l0.png 0.0/2

2014 Grand Prix, Baku | Schedule & Pairings

Round 1 15:00 AZST 02.10.14   Round 2 15:00 AZST 03.10.14
Dominguez ½-½ Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov ½-½ Radjabov
Tomashevsky ½-½ Grischuk   Svidler 1-0 Mamedyarov
Karjakin 0-1 Caruana   Andreikin 0-1 Nakamura
Gelfand 1-0 Andreikin   Caruana ½-½ Gelfand
Nakamura ½-½ Svidler   Grischuk ½-½ Karjakin
Mamedyarov ½-½ Radjabov   Dominguez ½-½ Tomashevsky
Round 3 15:00 AZST 04.10.14   Round 4 15:00 AZST 05.10.14
Tomashevsky - Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov - Svidler
Karjakin - Dominguez   Andreikin - Radjabov
Gelfand - Grischuk   Caruana - Mamedyarov
Nakamura - Caruana   Grischuk - Nakamura
Mamedyarov  - Andreikin   Dominguez - Gelfand
Radjabov - Svidler   Tomashevsky - Karjakin
Round 5 15:00 AZST 07.10.14   Round 6 15:00 AZST 08.10.14
Karjakin - Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov - Andreikin
Gelfand - Tomashevsky   Caruana - Svidler
Nakamura - Dominguez   Grischuk - Radjabov
Mamedyarov - Grischuk   Dominguez - Mamedyarov
Radjabov - Caruana   Tomashevsky - Nakamura
Svidler - Andreikin   Karjakin - Gelfand
Round 7 15:00 AZST 09.10.14   Round 8 15:00 AZST 10.10.14
Gelfand - Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov - Caruana
Nakamura - Karjakin   Grischuk - Andreikin
Mamedyarov - Tomashevsky   Dominguez - Svidler
Radjabov - Dominguez   Tomashevsky - Radjabov
Svidler - Grischuk   Karjakin - Mamedyarov
Andreikin - Caruana   Gelfand - Nakamura
Round 9 15:00 AZST 12.10.14   Round 10 15:00 AZST 13.10.14
Nakamura - Kasimdzhanov   Kasimdzhanov - Grischuk
Mamedyarov - Gelfand   Dominguez - Caruana
Radjabov - Karjakin   Tomashevsky - Andreikin
Svidler - Tomashevsky   Karjakin - Svidler
Andreikin - Dominguez   Gelfand - Radjabov
Caruana - Grischuk   Nakamura - Mamedyarov
Round 11 13:00 AZST 14.10.14        
Mamedyarov - Kasimdzhanov        
Radjabov - Nakamura        
Svidler - Gelfand        
Andreikin - Karjakin        
Caruana - Tomashevsky        
Grischuk - Dominguez        

The total prize fund is €120,000. The games start each day at 15:00 local time which is 12:00 in Amsterdam, 11:00 in London, 06:00 in New York, 03:00 in Los Angeles and 20:00 in Sydney. The last round starts two hours earlier. The tournament website provides prodive live commentary by GMs Emil Sutovsky and GM Evgeny Miroshnichenko which can also be followed on winner and second placed player in the overall final standings of the Grand Prix will qualify for the Candidates’ Tournament to be held in the last quarter of 2015 or the first half of 2016. | Games via TWIC phpfCo1l0.png

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